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May 2015 - Turn it Up: 20th Annual Silver City Blues and Bikes Festival

The Mimbres Region Arts Council’s (MRAC) unparalleled Blues Festival, the last remaining FREE Blues Festival in the Southwest, celebrates 20 extraordinary years of success with a new name, the Silver City Blues & Bikes Festival, and an expansion that will include a third full day of motorcycle related activities on Friday, May 22 in and around Gough Park. Blues Hall of Famer, Lifetime Achievement and 2-time Grammy award winner Taj Mahal will headline the festival Saturday night, May 23. The festival runs through Sunday afternoon, May 24, featuring the Campbell Brothers as Sunday headliners. Presented in and around Silver City’s Gough Park, the Silver City Blues & Bikes Festival is the same great festival you’ve come to expect, renamed and expanded for a total Blues & Bikes Lovers Experience.

The MRAC is thrilled at the extraordinary opportunity to present internationally renowned blues powerhouse Taj Mahal in Silver City, New Mexico. Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Though his career began more than four decades ago with American blues, he has broadened his artistic scope over the years to include music representing virtually every corner of the world – west Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, the Hawaiian islands and so much more. What ties it all together is his insatiable interest in musical discovery. Over the years, his passion and curiosity have led him around the world, and the resulting global perspective is reflected in his music. Says Taj Mahal, “I apply the warrior energy to the blues.”

Friday’s expanded events will include the People’s Choice Bike Show, judged by festival attendees in two categories: early 1900s to 1984 and 1985 to present day; the family motorcycle attraction theWall of Death, “America’s Original Extreme Motorcycle Thrill Show,” featuring the Indian 101 Scout as well as vintage Harley-Davidsons; a 50+ vendors; a bike run; independent custom bike builders and detailers, such as West Coast Smudge from Fairfield Pin-striping and other high quality bike-themed vendors.

In addition the Blues Festival hosts a diverse array of artisans from across the region. Handmade and one-of-a-kind fiber arts pieces, pottery, and jewelry can be found in the Artisans Alley framing the park. While you are browsing and shopping, stop by any of the many food vendor booths to sample a variety of traditional festival and ethnic foods. Over the weekend, downtown Silver City shops, galleries and restaurants will be offering Blues Festival specials.

Taj Mahal’s appearance is part of the 2015 New Mexico Legends of the Blues Tour presented by the Outpost Performance Space (ABQ-5/22), Silver City Blues Festival (Silver City-5/23), and Southwest Roots Music (Santa Fe- 5/24).

The Silver City Blues Festival is supported by our sponsors: Lawley Toyota of Silver City, Western New Mexico Univerity, James Edd Hughs/Edward Jones Investments, and the Town of Silver City. Our media sponsor is Q 92.9 FM. Funders include WESTAF, The National Endowment for the Arts, and New Mexico Arts. For more information on this amazing event visit

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